August 13, 2005
I don't know if people outside the South experience things I did when I was a boy. I learned a lot of lessons the hard way about this shit.
1) Sand spurs. Those nasty bastards grow in BUSHELS around the beach and any kind of sandy soil. Step in a patch of them barefoot, and you WILL regret the experience.
2) "Seven Year Itch." That's a stinging nettle that grows around here and it'll go right through a pair of Levis. That sumbitch burns, itches and will cause you to break out in a bright red rash. It's like a jellyfish sting that comes from a plant.
3) Poison ivy. Any kid past the age of six should learn to recognize and STAY AWAY from that venemous plant. That sumbitch will make you wish you were never born if you get it all over you. That's nasty stuff.
4) Hornet's nests. They hang from trees and I've seen some as big as a watermelon. They usually have one sentry on patrol outside, circling around the hole at the bottom of the nest. DO NOT hit a hornet's nest with a stick or a rock. You may think you can run fast, but you ain't gonna outrun angry hornets when you piss them off. They'll tear your ass up.
5) Rock salt. A lot of farmers keep shotguns loaded with that stuff to run varmits away and keep horny boys such as I once was away from their daughters. Get shot with a dose of that and it won't kill you. But your ass will burn for a week.
I could go on, but I'm hungry now. I want to eat something that's BAD for me.
Don't forget sumac. That shit is worse than poison ivy.
Poison ivy does not bother me, and I think it is because when I was four years old, my older sister and cousin made me eat mud pies made with mud and poison ivy leaves. Had a bad time of it for a while but have never had it bother me again. Wish I could do that with some other things that get to me!
#1 - Yeah, I hate those damn things. I was always gettin' 'em in my feet running around in Albany barefoot as a little kid.
#2 - Yep. Nothing I could add there.
#3 - Just seeing that word makes me break out! Thanks Rob!
#4 - Yeah, those little fuckers are great aren't they? They love air conditioners and considering I'm an HVAC service guy, I keep a good eye out for 'em.
#5 - Never got shot with any but I could imagine. Funny, I don't see a little rock salt keeping you away from anyone's daughter back in the day!
Don't forget fireants. There is nothing like standing on a mound of fireants that you didn't see. Little bastards always coordinate their attacks, too ("hey, everyone wait until we get to knee level- charge!")
What about chiggers? Those little guys are a definite Southern pain in the ass. The first time I took my ex-wife (from New York) down home to Tennessee, I tried to warn her about chiggers. She thought I was making a racial slur. It only took her one summer in Tennessee to learn, though.
I'll add fire ants. If you haven't come across them, don't be fooled by the tiny buggers. Ajax works better than any poison (get the stuff with bleach).
Mesquite trees, briars, brambles, thousands of cacti - seems like everything I grew up with was always trying to reach out and jab you.
Damn, you made me homesick.